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Deanna Ellis Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Anina deNobriga
1 winner$700
Application Deadline
Mar 11, 2024
Winners Announced
Apr 11, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school, undergraduate, or graduate student
Mental health counseling, healthcare, nursing, or other professions that help those with substance abuse issues

Every person has the opportunity to be a healing presence in the lives of others, either through their circumstances or because of them.

Deanna was a wonderfully kind person who dealt with many struggles in life. Regardless of what she was going through, she would always give to others. In order to honor her memory, the Deanna Ellis Memorial Scholarship will support a student who is passionate about helping others who’ve faced substance abuse issues.

High school, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible to apply if they are pursuing a career in a field related to helping those with substance abuse. Majors include mental health counseling, nursing, healthcare, and more, as long as the student has a passion for this cause. To apply, write about how your experience with substance abuse has influenced the trajectory of your life.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Passion, Impact
Published September 14, 2023
Essay Topic

How has your experience with substance abuse influenced your beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Austin Hagedorn
Capella UniversityCOLUMBUS, IN
Title: A Journey of Redemption: Unveiling the Impact of Substance Abuse on Beliefs, Relationships, and Career Aspirations My journey through the shadows of substance abuse has been a crucible, shaping not only my narrative but influencing my beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations in profound ways. As an individual in recovery for three years, the echoes of that challenging chapter resonate in the fabric of my identity and aspirations, forging a path toward redemption and a commitment to impact the world positively. The impact of substance abuse on my beliefs has been transformative. It has illuminated the fragility of the human experience and underscored the importance of empathy, understanding, and resilience. The recovery process has reshaped my beliefs about personal strength and the potential for redemption. I firmly believe that every individual, regardless of their past, possesses the capacity for transformation and renewal. This newfound belief is a guiding principle in my interactions and fuels my commitment to mental health advocacy. Substance abuse has intricately woven its threads into the fabric of my relationships. It tested the bonds with those I held dear, unveiling both the vulnerabilities and strengths of connection. The journey of recovery allowed for the mending of fractured relationships, and in doing so, it deepened my appreciation for the importance of compassion and support. This experience has left an indelible mark on how I approach relationships — with an enhanced sense of empathy, authenticity, and a commitment to positively influencing those around me. My experience with substance abuse has significantly influenced my career aspirations. The challenges I faced underscored the importance of mental health awareness and intervention. It ignited a passion for contributing to a system that recognizes the interconnectedness of substance use and mental well-being. As a future mental health provider, my career aspirations are deeply rooted in this commitment. I aim to blend lived experience with professional expertise, creating a holistic approach to mental health advocacy that addresses the multifaceted needs of individuals in recovery. Moreover, the journey through substance abuse has instilled in me a desire to contribute beyond the clinical setting. I aspire to advocate for systemic change, promoting policies and initiatives prioritizing mental health education, prevention, and accessibility. My challenges have become a driving force for positive change, influencing my career trajectory toward making a broader impact on societal well-being. In conclusion, my experience with substance abuse has been a transformative journey that has left an indelible mark on my beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations. It has instilled in me a profound sense of empathy, resilience, and commitment to positively impacting the world. Through the prism of recovery, I see personal redemption and an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of individuals and society at large.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 11, 2024. Winners will be announced on Apr 11, 2024.

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